Like Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck is someone who shouldn't be given the time of day, but for some reason, the verbal diarrhea he can't help but spew continues to make national news. But you know, maybe it's actually worth discussing because it embodies the ignorance and insensitivity that continue to pervade the U.S. His most recent comments are the perfect case-in-point.
On his radio show on Tuesday, he broached the topic of the use of the term "African-American." Apparently, Beck thinks "African-American" is inaccurate, and "colored" is more appropriate. OMFG. Can we please just put this guy, Rep. Joe Wilson, and Rep. Doug Lamborn in some kind of shuttle built exclusively for raging racist Republicans and launch them out into space?!
Oh, and somehow, this discussion escalated from bad to worse.
Beck showed his utter ignorance as he went on about how "African-American" isn't the right label for black people in "Africa, in Europe, in South America, in Jerusalem," so "how can people be one thing in one country and nowhere else in the world?"
Um, let's see ... maybe for the same reason Irish-Americans aren't Irish-Americans if they're residents of Canada, Australia, or Japan?! But they're (usually) white people no matter where they go? Sheesh! For crying out loud, is the guy THAT stupid?!
Then he dug himself an even deeper grave, waxing on about how "colored" is used in places like South Africa, so by extension it should be okay here. Sure, a place that eliminated legal racial segregation (Apartheid) as recently as 1994 is the country we should be looking to for cues?!? Wow. Clearly, the man also has no clue that the term in this country is reminiscent of Jim Crow laws, slavery, and hundreds of years of hate, discrimination, and vile treatment of black Americans.
What it boils down to for Beck, though, is that black people were "gifted" the label "African-American" and continue to embrace it, because they refuse to be straight-up "American" -- even though, he claims, they have it better than ever before in this country, which is, sadly, a ridiculously skewed assertion. He said:
'African-American' was not made to do anything except try to create a super man ... 'Oh, don't you dare feel bad about yourself, you're African-American!' No. You're an American. ... Look at what happened with Martin Luther King. That makes you an American. Judge not by the color of your skin. And you weren't over in Africa. Your great-great-great grandfather was. ... But you weren't. And sure, this country sucked for blacks. Sucked, beyond sucked for a long time. But it doesn't now .... Be proud to be an American.
Caaaaaaarazyyyy! All Beck accomplished with his little rant was to show how much of an ignorant bigot he really is. Not only does he have absolutely no concept of American racial history or sensitivity, but he also seems to need a wake-up call that TONS of Americans identify ourselves by where our ancestors came from. My boyfriend's step-father was Italian-American. We are Jewish-Americans (which opens up a whole different can of worms, because we're a hybrid of religion/ethnicity called "ethnoreligious"). Some of my best friends are Chinese-American and Arab-American. We are all still proud Americans without forgetting our roots. That's what this "melting pot" of a country is supposed to be about. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that head-up-his-butt Beck doesn't "get" that.
What do you think about Beck's argument?
Image via David Shankbone/Flickr